United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
JOHN E. SMITH, #M-32750, Plaintiff,
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
PHIL GILBERT United States District Judge.
John E. Smith, an inmate currently housed at Menard
Correctional Center (“Menard”), filed this action
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff brings
allegations pertaining to the dental care he received (or
failed to receive) at Menard. (Doc. 1). In connection with
these claims, Plaintiff names Asselmeier, a dentist at
Menard, and seeks monetary damages.
case is now before the Court for a preliminary review of the
Complaint (Doc. 1) pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, which
(a) Screening - The court shall review,
before docketing, if feasible or, in any event, as soon as
practicable after docketing, a complaint in a civil action in
which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity or
officer or employee of a governmental entity.
(b) Grounds for Dismissal - On review, the
court shall identify cognizable claims or dismiss the
complaint, or any portion of the complaint, if the complaint-
(1) is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim on
which relief may be granted; or
(2) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from
action or claim is frivolous if “it lacks an arguable
basis either in law or in fact.” Neitzke v.
Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989). Frivolousness is an
objective standard that refers to a claim that any reasonable
person would find meritless. Lee v. Clinton, 209
F.3d 1025, 1026-27 (7th Cir. 2000). An action fails to state
a claim upon which relief can be granted if it does not plead
“enough facts to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). The claim of
entitlement to relief must cross “the line between
possibility and plausibility.” Id. at 557. At
this juncture, the factual allegations of the pro se
complaint are to be liberally construed. See Rodriguez v.
Plymouth Ambulance Serv., 577 F.3d 816, 821 (7th Cir.
claims that he has been experiencing “serious dental
issues” since May 11, 2017. (Doc. 1, p. 4). More
specifically, Plaintiff alleges he has been suffering from
severe pain due to an infection in his tooth. (Doc. 1, pp.
4-5). In an effort to receive treatment, Plaintiff submitted
numerous complaints, sick call requests, and grievances.
(Doc. 1, p. 5).
August 11, 2017, Plaintiff was seen by Asselmeier, a dentist,
for treatment of an infected tooth (a filling). Asselmeier
told Plaintiff he was not going to be able to fill the
infected tooth because there was a backlog of over two
thousand inmates. Id. Plaintiff told Asselmeier that
he had been waiting for months to have his infected tooth
treated. Id. He also said that on a scale of 1 to
10, his pain level was a 10. Id. Asselmeier said
nothing could be done unless Plaintiff agreed to have his
tooth extracted. Id. Plaintiff protested and said he
wanted the tooth treated with a filling. Id.
Asselmeier once again said nothing could be done unless
Plaintiff agreed to an extraction. Id. Asselmeier
also refused Plaintiff's request for antibiotics and pain
medication. Id. Plaintiff claims that
Asselmeier's conduct caused him to suffer needlessly and
has caused his condition to worsen. (Doc. 1, p. 5). Plaintiff
seeks monetary damages. (Doc. 1, p. 6).
Review Under § 1915(A)
on the allegations of the Complaint, the Court finds it
convenient to divide the pro se action into
a single count. The parties and the Court will use this
designation in all future pleadings and orders, unless
otherwise directed by a judicial officer of this Court. The
designation of this count does not constitute an opinion
regarding its merit.
Count 1 - Eighth Amendment deliberate
indifference claim against Asselmeier for failing to treat
Plaintiff's tooth infection and associated ...